TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2306289
Good Evening all my fellow BTB kayak fishermen!! Yakety_Yak here with another report. On Wednesday, July 22nd, three people (including myself) made a trip to Bob Hall Pier (BHP). Carlos from La Marque, Texas and myself rode together. We met Hector, from Laredo, Texas, at BHP. Carlos and myself started fairly early because the drive is around 3.5 hours from my place (Houston, Texas). Carlos met me at my place close to 1:45 am to load up the kayaks on my trailer. While I was strapping the kayak down, Carlos was loading the rest of his gear into the back of my SUV. Once that was done, Carlos parked his truck and away we went. Once again, Loop 610, in Houston, was closed near the Hwy 59 exchange. I had to lose a little time to go a round-about way. After getting back onto the highway, we headed to Wharton, Texas to stop at Buc-ee's. Carlos grabbed some stuff from Buc-ee's. The breakfast section wasn't open yet so I didn't get anything from there except ice. Next, I went across the highway to get some breakfast at Whataburger. From there, we got back on the road and headed to Corpus. Hector arrived on the BHP parking lot around 15 minutes before we did. All three of us kept in contact, via phone, to make sure we arrived and got on the water around the same time.

Finally, Carlos and I arrive to the BHP parking lot. The sun is still down so that is good as this gives us plenty of time to get ready to hit the water.

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All three of us parked on the far south end of the parking lot so we are close to the beach and enough away from the pier to walk our kayaks down to the water so we could launch. When the kayaks are ready we all brought our wheels (kayak dollies) so that the walk to the water's edge wouldn't be bad (it sure beats dragging the kayaks, lol).

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Once we get the yaks to the water, I have to go and park my vehicle further down because I have a trailer on the back of my SUV. As soon as I park and start heading back to where the yaks are, I stop to get a pic of the first rig.

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The walk back was a little ways but I didn't care. I was going fishing. :) As I made it back to the beach and headed to the yaks, the guys were getting a few minor things ready to roll before launching.

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Carlos wasted no time and went through the surf. Hector and I waited back. Every now and then there was a major set, which I was getting lazy and didn't care to mess with. For the most part, the surf was 1 - 2 ft. and the sets were spread out. Once I timed that nasty set and felt I knew when it was going to hit again, I launched. Hector took off a few seconds before I did. As I was paddling through the surf, something happened. Right when I was in the third gut, my paddle broke right where the paddle meets the round tubing. It snapped like a toothpick for no reason at all. I didn't hit anything on the bottom. It just snapped! At this point, I am trying to use the paddle like a canoe paddle (which wasn't doing me any justice). I needed to not mess around with that or I was going to end up turtling in the surf. I dropped my mirage drive and rudder then I put my paddle away, what was left of it. I began to plow through the waves and before you know it, I was through the surf. I got well past the end of BHP before getting things set up to start trolling. Carlos was already trolling. He held back past the surf for us though. I caught a pic of him before he headed toward the rig ahead of us. It turns out that Hector had a spare set of paddles below his hatch. he let me borrow them until we made it back to shore.

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Shortly, Carlos was ahead of the group, I was in the middle, and Hector was in the rear. I think by now everyone knows I have a Hobie Outback. Carlos has a Old Town Topwater PDL 14.5. Hector is rolling in a Feel Free Lure 13.5. Two peddle yaks and one paddle yak. Because Hector was in a paddle yak, we kept tabs on him making sure he was cool with things before we proceeded any further. I decided to troll slower allowing Hector time to catch up. As he was doing so, Hector ended up on his first king. I turned around to make sure all went well and to get a few pics of his catch after he landed the king. Hector went out a few days before this day for his first BTB trip but didn't catch any kings. He did land a few smacks. This was going to be Hector's first king. After a good run and a great fight to the kayak, Hector finally landed his first king ever!!

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Now that Hector has his first king in the fish bag, he rigged up with another ribbon and away we went trolling again towards the rig. After awhile of trolling, nobody had reported over the radio catching any kings much less anything else. As Hector and I got closer to the first rig, we could see Carlos trolling around the rig.

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At one point, Carlos did get a quick run at the rig but it ended with no fish on the line. Right as Hector and I made it pretty much to the rig, I saw a sea turtle. There were quite a few of those that day.

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All three of us trolled around the rig for about 30 - 45 minutes and nothing. I spoke on the radio to the others and asked them what they thought about going out to the further rigs. Both Hector and Carlos were on board with the idea so away we went. The water and weather was extremely nice!

The entire time we trolled to the further rigs, nobody caught a single fish. My fish finder didn't show anything on it at all. After trolling the entire time to get to the further rigs, we finally made it. Carlos ended up ahead of us again, lol. He was moving pretty good and made good timing. Here are a few shots of the further rigs.

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All three of us tried different rigs to see where the fish were and hopefully could report back to the rest so that everyone could get in on the action. I tried one rig but nothing came of it after several passes. I decided to move on to another rig that had not been tried by the others yet. As I was trolling around this particular rig, I saw a bunch of bait on the fish finder that was below the surface. The underwater bait ball was pretty huge. I decided to move in closer to the rig on the next pass and continue over that bait ball to see what would happen. While I was trolling around this rig, there was a boat tied up to it. As a matter of fact, there was a boat or two at each of the rigs. Upon my next pass, I trolled slow and deep. That was the ticket because I got a hook up! I moved off from the rig while tightening down on the drag to keep the king from going into the rig and breaking me off. After a run against my Seigler reel, the fight was no more and the king was in my kayak. That was my first king for the day. Better late than never. :)

Once I rigged up again with another ribbon, I decided to do the same thing. Upon the next pass, I hooked up once more. I ended up with another king in the yak. Now I am sitting with two kings in the fish bag. I called out on the radio to the others to let them know the deal. They came over and got in on the action. Carlos had a few more break-offs at the other rig and I believe another one at the rig I was at. Hector got hooked up on something but it didn't stick. After a few more runs, Hector and Carlos decided to try a different rig. I figured I would stay a little longer as I wasn't done exploring this rig. After a little while longer, I called out to the others as it was getting later in the day and I felt we needed to start heading back if we wanted to make it back before dark. The time was 2:00 pm. Both of them agreed and so I trolled back toward them as they were ahead of me. I ended up hooking up once again. This was three kings in the bag for me. Hector was sitting on one king. Carlos was working hard but nothing was sticking for him. He would get runs but either the fish would spit the hook or it would break off. I had three other runs but those fish didn't land. I will say that right before I left the far rigs, I ended up catching a smack. I finally caught up to Hector. Carlos was a little further up ahead of us still trolling. Carlos landing a nice sized smack. Nobody was skunked on this trip. While trolling back, Hector got onto one more run. This run ended up being another king in the bag for him.

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Carlos was on path to making it back to the first rig while we were a little off course. I noticed that the current and conditions picked up. I wasn't sure why as it was not predicted on any of the forecasts I saw. The next day I figured out what was going on. Hurricane Hanna started to make issues over in the Corpus Texas coastal waters. As we made it closer and closer to land, the conditions and winds picked up even more. Hector was in a paddle yak and I figured he might be getting a little tired so I decided to tow him in for awhile to give him a break. Since I had GPS on my fish finder, I took the more direct route back to shore instead of going to the 1-mile rig. Carlos was making good ground getting back. While I peddled, Hector paddled to help out. This definitely helped out a lot in getting us back to shore quicker. Now we are all past the first rig. Carlos is at the surf and we are about a quarter mile from land. Carlos decides to go in forward. Once he is on land, he radios to us to let us know that he made it back safely. Carlos turtled and mentioned that the surf was way more aggressive than in the morning. I decided that I didn't want to mess with the surf and trying to keep from turtling. After talking to Hector about my plan to get back in, he was on board. Once we paddled into the surf zone and the fourth sandbar passes a wave, we start paddling fairly quickly. Right before the next wave hits, I tell Hector to jump in the water. We had already discussed what to do earlier so he was ready. Once we were in the water, both of us headed to the rear of the kayak. As the waves crash and carry the yaks, our bodies become a human drift sock. The kayaks will stay up and not turtle. We kept this up the entire time until we got back to shore. Once we arrived on shore, our kayaks were still upright.

After walking our kayaks over to near where we launched, I went and grabbed my SUV while Carlos watched the yaks. Hector started to get his kayak taken care of back at his truck. I finally arrive with my SUV and trailer. Both Carlos and I get the yaks back to the trailer and load them up. We don't strap the yaks down. I drive to an area that is more open to do what we need to get stuff packed without all the vehicles parked and me blocking them. While Carlos and I was strapping things up, Hector pulls up. He's waiting for us as we were going to clean our fish at Billings Bait Stand once we leave. Just before we left, we took a group pic of our catch of the day. The final count was Hector caught two kings, Carlos caught a huge smack, and I caught three kings and a smack. We all had other missed shots and break-offs. In the end though, we all had fun!!

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Finally, we head out and on over to the cleaning station to clean fish. Carlos didn't want his smack and was nice enough to give it to me. I offered him one of my kings but he didn't want to take any fish home.

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After cleaning fish, we all said our "good-byes" and headed back home. Carlos and I stopped through a drive-thru at Whataburger to get something to eat. Next, I needed to get into some clean clothes so I found a place that I could change really quick. After that, we got some gas. Finally, we headed back to Houston. I got us out of Corpus and onto the road that leades to Bayside. This gave Carlos a little time to rest. From here, Carlos drove giving me a break. Finally, I took over for the last few hours. At one point, we were both pretty tired so I had to stop so that we both could sleep. I only needed about 20 minutes and then I was ready to start driving again. We made it back to my place around 1:30 am. After helping Carlos load up his truck, he was ready for the drive home. After I got out of the shower, I texted Carlos to see if he made it back okay. He was home safely and all was good! What a great day on the water with a good group of people. Thanks to Hector and Carlos for hanging out with me on this trip. Let's do it again sometimes! :)
#2306293
I'll admit to not reading all the details, mostly enjoying the photos and reading where the photos got my attention.
Nice job, and glad to see all hands filled with kings.
I searched Hannah in your write up. We've fished a couple of storm tides in the bays with amazing result - once got into fly rod jacks and baby tarpon in the back of the St. Jo lakes - but probably wouldn't be heading offshore with a TS building.
You may have the last official photo of the BHP Tee-head.
#2306350
Ron Mc wrote:I'll admit to not reading all the details, mostly enjoying the photos and reading where the photos got my attention.
Nice job, and glad to see all hands filled with kings.
I searched Hannah in your write up. We've fished a couple of storm tides in the bays with amazing result - once got into fly rod jacks and baby tarpon in the back of the St. Jo lakes - but probably wouldn't be heading offshore with a TS building.
You may have the last official photo of the BHP Tee-head.


Thanks Ron for reading. I didn't think about what you said until after you said it but you may be right in regards to the last official photo of BHP tee-head. Interesting thought.


SWFinatic wrote:Glad y'all were able to get out. Thanks for the report and pics.


My pleasure!


kickingback wrote:Well done and awesome report Blake! Thanks for posting and sharing. That storm was brutal to Corpus but the day y'all went out it was looking much better. Shame about all the damage down there. Hope it gets back to normal soon. Stay safe and have fun!


Thanks, kickingback. :)
#2306581
Blake - we all enjoy your reports and your pictures. But, may I give you some constructive criticism?

Try to discern the important details of your trip, which means where you went, weather and fishing conditions, lures and tactics used, depth where fish caught, the fish you caught, maybe some info on your equipment, interesting sights experienced along the way and tons of pictures (which you do perhaps better than anyone). That's pretty much what everyone wants in a fishing report.

With all due respect, no one needs to know things like what time your buddies got to your house, highway closures, the route you drove to get to Corpus, that your buddy got stuff from Bucee’s, what you got there, that the breakfast section was closed, that you got breakfast at Whataburger, what time Hector got to the parking lot, where you parked in the parking lot, that you had to move your car after you got your kayak to the water, that you went to Whataburger after your trip, that you got gas afterwards, that you need to change your clothes and found a place to do so, who drove back, that you stopped to take a quick nap, or that your buddy texted you after you got out of the shower.

I am not trying to be an ass. I am simply hoping you will take these thoughts to heart so that everyone can enjoy the important details of your trip, which are often lost in your trademark prose.
#2306588
Shoffer, I respect your opinion and you have good points for a fishing report, and Blake's reports do give a boat load of details which aren't necessarily pertinent to a fishing report, but I'll also add all of those little details make me feel like I was there with him.

I enjoy them but I tend to overwrite my reports as well so my opinion is probably skewed lol.
#2306591
Kudos to Blake for always posting excellent photos.
I'll admit I have to consciously choose to read reports without photos.
But good photos pique my interest, and make me want to read about them.
Will also say Neumie does the best reporting, good mix of narrative and photos, and breaks out the stats, so everybody can find just want they want.
#2306622
shoffer wrote:Blake - we all enjoy your reports and your pictures. But, may I give you some constructive criticism?

Try to discern the important details of your trip, which means where you went, weather and fishing conditions, lures and tactics used, depth where fish caught, the fish you caught, maybe some info on your equipment, interesting sights experienced along the way and tons of pictures (which you do perhaps better than anyone). That's pretty much what everyone wants in a fishing report.

With all due respect, no one needs to know things like what time your buddies got to your house, highway closures, the route you drove to get to Corpus, that your buddy got stuff from Bucee’s, what you got there, that the breakfast section was closed, that you got breakfast at Whataburger, what time Hector got to the parking lot, where you parked in the parking lot, that you had to move your car after you got your kayak to the water, that you went to Whataburger after your trip, that you got gas afterwards, that you need to change your clothes and found a place to do so, who drove back, that you stopped to take a quick nap, or that your buddy texted you after you got out of the shower.

I am not trying to be an ass. I am simply hoping you will take these thoughts to heart so that everyone can enjoy the important details of your trip, which are often lost in your trademark prose.


I can surely add the other stuff into the report as you have mentioned (it's something I have added in older reports from past years but sort of forgotten to add it in current years). That's completely my fault and I can certainly do better. As far as not talking about the Buc-ee's stops, that will be hard to do. We all have to stop and love the Buc-ee's. :wink:
#2306875
shoffer wrote:Blake - we all enjoy your reports and your pictures. But, may I give you some constructive criticism?

Try to discern the important details of your trip, which means where you went, weather and fishing conditions, lures and tactics used, depth where fish caught, the fish you caught, maybe some info on your equipment, interesting sights experienced along the way and tons of pictures (which you do perhaps better than anyone). That's pretty much what everyone wants in a fishing report.

With all due respect, no one needs to know things like what time your buddies got to your house, highway closures, the route you drove to get to Corpus, that your buddy got stuff from Bucee’s, what you got there, that the breakfast section was closed, that you got breakfast at Whataburger, what time Hector got to the parking lot, where you parked in the parking lot, that you had to move your car after you got your kayak to the water, that you went to Whataburger after your trip, that you got gas afterwards, that you need to change your clothes and found a place to do so, who drove back, that you stopped to take a quick nap, or that your buddy texted you after you got out of the shower.

I am not trying to be an ass. I am simply hoping you will take these thoughts to heart so that everyone can enjoy the important details of your trip, which are often lost in your trademark prose.
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Yakety Yak, please set off from my area for a day on the saltwater, there is a Days Inn and Holiday inn Express in my area for you to start out from. I enjoy reading your trip reports, but it may be helpful to have a report from my area as well :) just an offer. You don't have to cover the trip from Houston the Georgetown if you don't want to. :)This is just an offer.
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